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Simple setup or not so simple?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kd_rome, Apr 5, 2006.


  1. kd_rome

    kd_rome

    Aug 23, 2004
    I was looking around to find a tutorial about setting up a 3 point bridge ( from my Gibson Ripper ) but didn't find anything.
    I saw that another user post a question on the forum but nobody replied.
    I'm wondering if it's too complicated to explain it or it's possible just to write the parameter like on the Fender website:
    http://www.fender.com/support/setup/basssetup.php
     
  2. kd_rome

    kd_rome

    Aug 23, 2004
    Thank you very much Aquateen for the links, the second one (from the Dudepit) has a good tutorial.

    Did you ever set one up before?
     
  3. aquateen

    aquateen

    Apr 14, 2005
    maryland
    yes, I have a '76 ripper and a '95 epi rivoli that have the 3-pt bridge. are you having difficulties with any particular aspect of it?
     
  4. kd_rome

    kd_rome

    Aug 23, 2004
    Pretty good I have a Ripper too! I wanted to understand more about intonation and setup up of 3 point bridges.
    I was looking a tutorial that could give me some measurement references about string height, bridge saddle position and bridge height (I understand that it would be just a reference and not a pro job) like I saw it on the Fender page.
    I don't know if it's possible to have a tutorial of this kind with this bridge/truss rod.
    What do you think?

    p.s. I just emailed Donnervogel ( the user that explained the setup) and I asked him the same question.
    I'll let you know what he says if you are interested!
     
  5. aquateen

    aquateen

    Apr 14, 2005
    maryland
    thanks, kd, any info is good to have and I'd welcome whatever our friend has to say.

    when I set mine up, I'm looking for fairly low action (without any fret buzz, of course) so I adjust the 3 studs accordingly. I try to keep the base of the bridge as level as possible, perhaps the front stud a bit higher than the side studs (but not by much). if one side is buzzing (E or G), then I will raise the stud on that side (about 1/4 of a turn at a time). I don't really worry too much about specific measurements, it's more by feel. if you feel that you'd like the measurements, try contacting gibson and see if they'll help you. they've been very good about it when I've asked for information for both of these basses and my son's les paul bass. I've sent them several emails from their website.

    the saddles end up where ever the pitch is correct for each string. on my ripper, they are usually staggered with the E being closest to the back of the bridge and the G being closest to the front. however, on the rivoli it hasn't always worked out like that. I think the type of strings I'm using at the time makes the difference. no matter, if the tuner says the pitch is correct, thats where the saddle belongs. I tend to check the intonation for a few days after changing strings.

    when it comes to adjusting the truss rod, I only turn it perhaps 1/8th of a turn at a time. I haven't had to make many adjustments on my ripper as the neck is quite stable. when I first got it, the E string would buzz on the first 4 or 5 frets. I was able to correct that with an 1/8th turn and haven't had to touch it since.

    setting up the rivoli is little different than the ripper in some ways. I have to keep the action a little higher than I like to keep it from buzzing. my tech said the neck has an awkward profile and that's part of the problem with getting the action as low as I'd like it. I bought it off ebay and didn't have a chance to inspect it first. by the time I got it into the shop, I couldn't return so I have to make the best of it. I've swapped the pickup for a dimarzio model g and it sounds pretty good for an inexpensive korean made bass. it's fun to play, too, so I'm ok with it.

    good luck with your set up!
     
  6. kd_rome

    kd_rome

    Aug 23, 2004
    I sent you a pm with the reply I got from the other member, nothing special...
    This afternoon I'll have some time to try your suggestions, and I'll let you know how it goes.
    Gibson's customer care is the best and probably only service that satisfied me. Their answers are always accurate and you can tell they have pro that work there.
    Can you please tell me more about the part when you say:
    "the saddles end up where ever the pitch is correct for each string", how do you determine the correct pitch?
    Thanks again!
     
  7. aquateen

    aquateen

    Apr 14, 2005
    maryland
    ok, first I tune the open string to pitch. next I fret the string at the 12th fret and check the tuning. if it's flat at the 12th fret, I move the saddle forward and if it's sharp, the saddle needs to move back. after each adjustment, I loosen the string a bit and start over, checking the open tuning and the fretted tuning. I keep making adjustments until both the open tuning and fretted tuning are on pitch. then on to the next string until each is adjusted. I use an inexpensive handheld Korg tuner, nothing fancy. here's a website that might be helpful.

    http://www.tunemybass.com/bass_setup/

    and thanks for passing along that other information. it kind of confirmed what I have experienced!
     
  8. kd_rome

    kd_rome

    Aug 23, 2004
    thanks man, that's what I was looking for, the website is really accurate and simple to understand.

    I'm finding a little hard to setup the E string, it keeps giving me the sharp note, and I reached the edge with the saddle.
    I rised the bridge on that side and it keeps giving me the same thing.
    But for now it's ok, the important thing is that I understood how the 3 point works !
    I'm gonna try to set up the other basses now and I'll let you know how it goes.

    Did you see the other post that i have on about the fading serial number?
     
  9. aquateen

    aquateen

    Apr 14, 2005
    maryland
    I'm finding a little hard to setup the E string, it keeps giving me the sharp note, and I reached the edge with the saddle.


    sometimes it's the string itself. on my Rivoli, I had the same type of problem with the D string. when I put a new set on (different brand), everything worked out.


    edit: couldn't find your post about the serial number
     

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